It's been a week since the world learned of the death of Osama bin Laden, and "Saturday Night Live" got it's first crack at the story this weekend. As is often the case, the burden the show faces is in finding a different way to approach a subject that has been in the hands of the late night shows all week.
The cold open presented a pitch-perfect parody of C-SPAN introducing a tape found during the raid on Osama's compound, which turned out to be the deceased's last will and testament. Fred Armisen appeared as Osama and revealed, with the help of a translator and subtitles, his final wishes as well as how he would like his estate to be divvied up amongst his extensive progeny.
It's a darker sketch than one first realizes, in that it makes no apologies for holding bin Laden up as a worthy object of ridicule. There's been a lot of discussion as the days have passed about whether or not it's humane (or American) to satirize and celebrate a death, no matter whose it is. "SNL" seems to come up on the "it is indeed ok" side.
The jokes range from cheap but funny (bin Laden wants a 12-year-old Dakota Fanning to be one of his pallbearers) to sharply relevant (a reference to bin Laden's dear friends at the Pakistani Intelligence Services).
Watch the entire opening sketch below and let us know what you think. Did this go too far or was it right on the money? Is there something to be gained from continuing to chip away at the legacy of bin Laden, turning him into more and more of a joke in our collective consciousness? Or by making light of his death do we lose something of our humanity?